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Computer scientist salary: An overview of influencing factors and earning opportunities

Salary aspects in the IT sector

Computer scientists are masters of software and information technology and keep companies at the cutting edge of technology with creativity, knowledge and patience. The job opportunities are extremely diverse and the professional field is more in demand than ever in an increasingly digital working world. According to digital association Bitcom, 96,000 vacancies were already unfilled across Germany in 2021. According to the study, every second company in Germany has vacant IT positions of various kinds. This naturally also has a positive effect on the salary of computer scientists. IT specialists take on tasks in IT and software development. For example, they are responsible for equipping all employees with the necessary hardware and software, providing them with regular updates and supporting them in solving problems. They also develop software solutions for specific applications in all areas of the company and for external customers. There are a variety of different jobs in the field of IT with different entry requirements. There are courses of study in the field of computer science as well as dual training and recognized apprenticeships, for example as an IT specialist with various specializations. A general interest in numbers and computers and in solving abstract problems is important for working in computer science. In addition, computer scientists should have a strong ability to think abstractly and logically as well as strong mathematical and technical knowledge. An independent and careful way of working, patience and perseverance as well as a willingness to undergo continuous further training are other useful qualities. In Germany, according to the portal Stepstone.de the average gross annual salary of a computer scientist is around €51,800 gross/year.

This chart shows the the average annual salary of computer scientists. 

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Professional experience

Professional experience is a key influencing factor when it comes to the salary of a computer scientist. In the world of information technology, practical experience is often just as important as formal qualifications. Companies value the skills and knowledge that computer scientists acquire over the course of their career. As professional experience increases, so does attractiveness on the job market, which can have a direct impact on salary. Continuous training and gaining practical experience and professional skills is essential to remain competitive in the highly dynamic IT industry.


The broadly diversified professional field enables various career paths. However, the choice of industry plays a decisive role when it comes to the salary of a computer scientist. Particularly promising prospects can be found in the automotive industry, for example. Here you can expect an annual gross salary of 51,800 euros at the start of your career. There are similarly attractive salary prospects for computer scientists in the medical sector. In contrast, the media is at the lower end of the industry comparison.

Company location

The regional location of the employer has a considerable influence on the salary of computer scientists. It turns out that on average around 13 percent more is earned in the old federal states than in the east of the republic, including Berlin. These regional differences make it clear how important it is to keep an eye on the place of work when negotiating salaries. A sound knowledge of regional salary structures enables computer scientists to formulate realistic salary expectations and achieve the best possible remuneration for their qualifications and experience.

Company size

In the IT sector, the salary of IT specialists varies not only depending on qualifications and experience, but also on the size of the company. Large corporations tend to offer more generous salaries than smaller or medium-sized companies. However, this should not be the sole deciding factor when choosing an employer. Higher salaries in large corporations often go hand in hand with more impersonal working environments and clearer hierarchies. In contrast, the salary in a start-up may be lower, but offers flat hierarchies and the opportunity to continuously learn and develop quickly on the career ladder.

Qualification and specialization

The number of computer science students in Germany has been rising steadily in recent years. The quality of the degree also has a direct influence on the salary of computer scientists. Graduates with a bachelor's degree in computer science earn more than their colleagues with a pure computer science education. Graduates with a Master's degree in computer science benefit from even more positive salary prospects, often amounting to several thousand euros per year. Despite these differences, computer science is rapidly changing, so practical experience is often just as important as the theoretical foundation. However, a career in the IT sector does not necessarily require a degree. Training as an IT specialist with various specializations such as application development, system integration or digital networking also offers promising career prospects. However, the salary of IT specialists is generally lower than that of their fellow IT specialists. 

According to the salary portal gehalt.de, the average salary for IT specialists is around 46,895 euros gross per year. The rapid development of information technology has increased the demand for specialist knowledge in certain areas. Computer scientists who specialize in sought-after technologies such as artificial intelligence, cybersecurity or cloud computing can often expect higher salaries. Companies reward expertise in niche areas as it contributes to solving complex challenges. Specialization not only enables a differentiated positioning on the job market, but is also reflected in the IT specialist's salary. In today's dynamic IT landscape, choosing the right specialization can therefore make a significant contribution to maximizing a computer scientist's salary and broadening career prospects at the same time.

Education and training

  • Study computer science
  • Training as an IT specialist

Hard Skills

  • Programming Database management
  • Web development
  • Operating system knowledge
  • Algorithms and data structures
Marketing for students and graduates

Advanced training

  • Specializations in data science or AI Training in cloud technologies
  • Data science courses
  • International blockchain training courses
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Soft skills

  • Problem-solving skills
  • creativity
  • Flexibility
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  • Average salary of 45,000 to 60,000 euros gross per year
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